IEDs found at AR ambush site, NSCN (IM) denies involvement

[Tongam Rina]

ITANAGAR, Oct 22: Improvised explosive devices (IED) weighing approximately 2.5 kgs and a wrapped lathode were found from the site where the 6th Assam Rifles (AR) was ambushed, resulting in the killing one jawan by suspected NSCN (IM) cadres.

Photo courtesy: Tirap Police

On Wednesday, an AR jawan was shot dead when the AR and the APP were on foot-patrolling near Sanliam village in Lazu circle of Tirap.

Rest escaped unhurt.

As reported earlier by this daily, a blue wire, approximately 20 metres long, was found at the site where the AR jawan was killed on Wednesday, sparking speculation that there might be IEDs in the area.

Photo courtesy: Tirap Police

The BSNL and the electricity department in Arunachal reportedly do not use the kind of wire that was found near the ambush site.

When contacted, Tirap SP Kardak Riba said that the IEDs were detonated on Thursday by the AR for safety reasons.

“The combing operation is on,” he said.

The combing operation is being led by the Arunachal Police DIG (eastern) and the commander of the 25 sector of the AR.

Meanwhile, a case has been registered at the Khonsa police station regarding the killing of the jawan.

The body of the jawan – Babu Rao Bongu, of Vajrapu Kotturu in Andhra Pradesh – was taken to his native village on Wednesday for the last rites, said the SP.

The last rites will be done with state honours on Thursday.

The NSCN (IM), which has been blamed for the killing by the government authorities, said that it had “nothing to do with the Arunachal Pradesh ambush,” and claimed that the media were spreading misinformation.

“It is unfortunate that the media people simply gave report based on their own wild conjecture, blaming the NSCN. Such an unhealthy practice by the media to connect NSCN to the incident where one Assam Rifles jawan died is highly dismissive,” it said.

Even as the NSCN (IM) has denied its involvement, there are reports that it has sent a fresh batch of operatives to Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts, signaling further escalation of violence.

The three districts have seen increased violence since the Indo-Naga framework agreement was reached in 3 August, 2015, between the government of India and the NSCN (IM).

The framework agreement was signed by NSCN (IM) chiefs T Muivah and Isak Chishi Swu and RN Ravi, the interlocutor of the government of India, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Ravi is currently the governor of Nagaland, and relations between the NSCN (IM) and Ravi have turned frostier in the last couple of months.